7 Replies Latest reply on Nov 1, 2012 3:29 PM by ADNPlus

    PDF files Database


      I am currently running FM Server Advanced. I have clients that connect through both FM Pro and IWP. Different applications for each one and developed for each environment accordingly. There are pdf files that are created on a daily basis. These pdf files need to be saved for future reference. I was asked if Filemaker could handle organizing all pdf files. Each record will have multiply pdf files and the pdf files need to be accessible from both the FM pro and IWP. I have developed database but have very little experience with embedding pdf files into Filemaker. What is the best course of action? Do I need a plugin? Do container fields will do or web viewer? Users will need to have access to these pdf files in both environment. Each pdf file will contain 25-40 pages worth of relevant information. Each is about 2MB-3MB. Has anyone done something like this?

        • 1. Re: PDF files Database

          Is there a real need to 'embed' the file in filemaker pro? Why not store a reference to the file? This would make your solution file size much smaller.

          Version 12 looks promising for such a task.

          I have done the same thing with version 9, using stored file references to the pdf. If you wanted to view the pdf within filemaker, you can do so via the web viewer on a layout.

          Can't say I've done anything like this with IWP, so I can't help you there.

          • 2. Re: PDF files Database

            We have done it both ways. Some of our solutions store references to the file and some are embedded using the the SuperContainer PlugIn. For web we have always gone with the SuperContainer as it prevents users from downloading the file without logging into the database.



            • 3. Re: PDF files Database

              Yes. Forget inserting PDF files set for external storage in FileMaker though. It doesn't work in FileMaker 12. Not for practical uses anyway.


              Use a plugin like Dacons FileFire to handle file management from within FileMaker as needed, while keeping your files in whatever shared volumes/drives you need them to be depending on your environment.


              Good Luck,


              • 4. Re: PDF files Database

                Curious ADNPlus, why do you say it does not work in FM 12...?

                • 5. Re: PDF files Database

                  The behavior is different when using a stand alone FileMaker file and when using the same file hosted on a server. When hosted on a server all pdf files inserted into containers are copied to a location relative to the database in the server pc and not in the volume/directory where you really want them. This means that you would need to have an external method of moving files between that FileMaker server directory and the target directory where you really want the file to be. For example, your network users typically share a volume for file storage, but none of them are likely to have access (nor should they really) to the FileMaker server database folder where the PDF files are placed by the container behavior in the hosted database. Because of this implemetation, which I find flawed, FileMaker in fact, continues to encourage files being embedded in a FileMaker container but not stored outside of FileMaker. This may be impractical for organizations storing a lot of files. My guess is, most of them.


                  I spoke to FileMaker support about this behavior and they confirmed that it was not documented in their knowledgebase then, and I have not checked to see if it has been updated since. Gosta keep rollin' with the punches I guess, I have a production schedule to complete.

                  • 6. Re: PDF files Database

                    Storing as a refrence would be ok though...right?


                    something I noticed last night was with a pdf that was displaying on a layout is that if you (in layout mode) optimise the image for jpg etc, this is perfect for printing, as it removed any stupid pdf tools or borders, however, it only works on the Mac, on windows it just showed the icon of a pdf file. If I change it on the layout to "interactive"- (pdf etc) then I can see it on both platforms, but with borders and pdf tools. UGLY.

                    This is FM 12 v3 on all workstations.

                    • 7. Re: PDF files Database

                      Sorry, my first post was confusing (I've edited it for clarity). I meant, storing image by reference should be okay as in using the import folder command. But, test it on your expected scenario, be it stand-alone FileMaker file, or hosted database. I must say I do like the ability to have some more control in containers, I like that after  countless years we finally have drag and drop on containers. As for the interactive function, I think that sizing the container field appropriately should take away the uglyness. Basically it's impossible to interact with a PDF if it's contained in a stamp sized field. Cheers.